HHS is planning to make Medicare physician-performance information available at the community level, Secretary Mike Leavitt announced.
The CMS will use Medicare data to generate quality-performance results on consensus-based measures adopted by the Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance and endorsed by the National Quality Forum.
Local value exchangesorganizations that support the vision of fostering healthcare reform at the local level by engaging providers, consumers and other key stakeholderswill distribute the physician performance results to local areas or regions. The organizations could combine the Medicare results with comparable private-sector information, which would produce more comprehensive results that consumers, providers and other stakeholders could use, according to an HHS fact sheet. The CMS is expected to begin providing the Medicare results by the summer of 2008.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is currently developing a process to recognize these chartered value exchanges, and will begin accepting applications this fall from existing organizations that have been recognized as community leaders for value-driven healthcare.
HHS said the release of this quality-measurement information would also support the value-driven healthcare initiative, which seeks to create a system of better care at lower costs. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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